So last weekend I was supposed to go to a friend’s going away party. He invited me, reminded me, everything. He’s leaving for school for I don’t even know how long- out of the country. He lives downtown, close to Grant Park, and I was at Lolla Palooza all weekend. So I figured I’d just stop by for dinner then get back to the music. However, when I noticed his Facebook status yesterday, it occurred to me that attending his going away party had completely slipped my mind. Simple as that.
I immediately had one of those heart-skip-a-beat panic moments and I announced to my sister, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I missed his party! I feel so bad!” She replied, “What are you gonna tell him!?” I thought about it, and said, “The truth”.
Ok this sounds like I’m preaching to a bunch of third graders saying “Everyone, honesty is the best policy”, but I think that this is something most of us don’t practice often enough. Whether it’s in work situations or with friends and social events, I strongly believe that the truth is always your best bet in handling a potentially bad situation. Lying and excuses will rarely make it any better.
I’ve too often heard ridiculous lies from friends about why they can’t go bike riding with me, or why they can’t play in my softball game, or why they can’t come out on Friday night. I’ve heard co-workers lie or make excuses on why some situation was handled the way it was. I admit, I’m guilty of these things as well. Who isn’t? But guess what? The recipient of the excuse or lie isn’t stupid. A lie is always detectable! And excuses are seriously annoying! And personally, I’d rather have the truth! Wouldn’t you?
So to take this further, I was thinking about what repercussions there are when you do tell the truth. Say, for example, I simply don’t want to go out on Friday. My friends are begging me blah blah blah, and I say, “Hey, I’m just not in the mood. Not gonna happen.” Sure, that’ll stop them from asking, but then what? Are they “mad” at me? I’d sure hope not. That wouldn’t be right. I told the truth! But, what they do have the right to do is to turn this situation back on me. Karma. And I in turn have to be completely understanding of the situation. What? See, if they next week won’t come to a show with me because they simply don’t want to, then fine. I have no right to ask more of them.
However, I do expect reciprocation. If I do make the effort, against my desires, to help you out, you better make the same effort for me! That’s what’s fair.
Sure, life’s not always fair. And people lie and cheat and make excuses. And you can’t always count on reciprocation. Let’s face it: The truth without excuses is a rarity these days. But we can change that, person by person, friend by friend. I will try my very best to help others out and be there. But sometimes I will fail. One can only do so much. We’re human. But I won’t sugarcoat why I failed, or why I wasn’t there. I’ll be real. What you see and hear is what you get. And that’s the best I can do. Kapeesh?
Now to write my friend an apology letter on how I simply forgot to attend his party. No ifs and or butts. I messed up. Please forgive me?